Friday we had to be at the church early to plan Andy’s funeral. We picked out the prayers, music, readers, and pallbearers. Ken’s buddy from the gym, Father Bill, would do the service. Father Bill is a cool guy. He’s a priest who is also a competetive body builder. Ken wrote his tribute to Andy for the funeral. It was really beautiful and really long, so he and I went through it and edited it down to size. I visited with my family, his family, and our friends most of the afternoon. “The kids”, Andy’s friends, were around most of the day, and it was a huge source of comfort for me. Being with them was like being with Andy. And it helped me to be strong for them.
Around 4:30 Ken and I headed over to the funeral home to spend a little time alone with Andy before the calling hours. There was a candle burning next to Andy which felt very special to me. I spent some time alone with my boy. I had a long conversation with him. He looked so very handsome and well dressed, which would have pleased him immensely being the clotheshorse he was. I ran my fingers through his hair, hugged him a lot, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. I held his hand for a long time. If I could have stayed with him all night, I would have. Then the 2 of us spent a little more time together with Andy. All the pictures we had provided were being screened on the wall. Oh, the beautiful pictures, the beautiful memories. I had a sense of peace that Andy was truly happy and safe in heaven and was helping us get through this.
Our friend, Eric, was the first to arrive. Eric had just lost his brother about a year earlier, and he had a lot of wisdom and experience to share with us, which we really appreciated. We spent about 15 minutes with him, and then lots of other people starting arriving. Our family was all there. I was strangely unemotional during the calling hours. For 3 hours people came through, many waiting in line for a long time. People were so kind and so patient. Some people were crying, and I felt such compassion for them. It somehow gave me strength to be able to comfort them. Ken and I are blessed with wonderful family, friends and coworkers. The people I work with are like family to me, and they were all there. Andy’s friend Bianca brought her precious little baby daughter with her, and looking at her all dressed up in black made me smile. I love that tiny little girl. Andy’s friends were all there. People got me water, I remember that. They served cookies…first time I had ever experienced cookies at calling hours, but I liked that.
After 3 hours, we were exhausted. We said goodbye to Andy, cried, and went back home to rest up for the funeral tomorrow.